I’ve written before about what a warm, wonderful welcome French readers have given Lily Moore. The first book in the series, Le Mal Que Tu M’as Fait (The Damage Done), was a hit, and I was honored to learn that Editions Télémaque, my French publisher, was promoting the second novel as one of their books of the season. La Dernière Chute (The Next One to Fall) is out this month (with an incredibly beautiful cover that Lily would appreciate). Once again, the Editions Télémaque team has excelled in every way. Merci et bisous à tous!
It feels really early to start promoting the next Deadly Ink, since New Jersey’s excellent crime conference is scheduled for next August. But Reed Farrel Coleman will be the Guest of Honor and I’ll be the Toastmaster, so you should mark August 5th-7th, 2016, in your calendar now! If you’re on Twitter follow @deadlyink for updates. This is going to be great.
It’s always an honor to appear in the pages of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine — and I’m over the moon about having my name on the cover of the December 2015 issue. My story “The Siege” is about a woman who seems to have everything. But her relationship with her husband began as an adulterous affair, and when she finds evidence that he’s up to his old tricks, her world starts to fall apart. Here’s how the story begins:
The red thong in my bed wasn’t mine. It was curled up like a newborn rodent at the foot of the mattress, a lump with a tawdry tale to tell waiting for me when I came home from the Canyon Ranch spa in Arizona. When I found it, my six-month-old daughter, Sammie, was wailing from her crib. A cry threatened to burst out of my chest. I’d been away from home for a week, battling baby weight that wouldn’t budge, and my husband was already having an affair.
I picked up the thong, holding it at arm’s length for examination. The label was Victoria’s Secret, and the size was extra-small. My husband always liked his girls petite. I knew that before I met him, back when I’d targeted him and plotted to meet him. Tony Salazar had that reputation. Everyone knew it.
Without thinking, I reached for a pair of scissors in my dresser and snipped the cheap lace into tiny bits. That little creature who’d crawled into my bed when I was away wasn’t coming back, not if she wanted to live.
“Genie!” I shouted.
My maid appeared in the doorway a minute later. “Yes, Mrs. Salazar?” She gasped and her hand went to her chest. “Did you cut yourself?”
I looked down. The crimson dots of fabric looked like blood splatter on my white carpet. “No!” I dropped the scissors on the bed. “Who’s been in the house while I was away?”
Genie paled a little. “I don’t think…”
“Who’s been in here?”
Genie gulped. “No one I know of, Mrs. Salazar.”
“I know someone else has been here!”
Her eyes were wide and fearful. “Not while I’ve been here, Mrs. Salazar.”
That was the maid’s way around it, of course. She was in the house from early in the morning until late at night, and she had a room in the house because she sometimes stayed overnight, but she didn’t actually live with us. She shared an apartment with her elderly mother miles away in downtown Los Angeles. I knew from Genie’s reaction that something was wrong, but I wouldn’t be able to get it out of her at that moment. She’d worked for my husband for years, and her loyalty was to Tony.
“Clean up this mess,” I said.
I brushed past her and walked down the hall. There was no point questioning Genie about the thong. It wasn’t likely that Tony brought a girl over during the day. Whatever assignation he’d had had been at night, after the maid was gone. But there was someone else in the house who’d know if there’d been a secret guest.
If you want to read more, the December issue of Ellery Queen is on newsstands now!
A couple of years ago, I released a collection of short stories. THE BLACK WIDOW CLUB: NINE TALES OF OBSESSION AND MURDER has had an amazing reception, earning raves from Mystery Scene Magazine and other crime-fiction reviewers. With Halloween just around the corner, it seemed like a great time to put the eBook on sale, with its usual price of $2.99 slashed to just 99 cents. It’s available on iBooks, Kindle, Kobo, and Nook.
Tempted? Here’s what you’ll find inside (cribbed from the jacket copy):
Obsession. Betrayal. Rage. Paranoia. Lust. Revenge. Murder. Anthony Award–winning author Hilary Davidson’s short stories invariably lead to dark places.
In “Stepmonster,” a jilted wife learns that the younger woman who stole her husband may be on the prowl again. In “Son of So Many Tears,” the mother of a criminal discovers the carnage left behind by her son. In “Anniversary,” a man prepares a very special meal for the girl of his dreams. In “Beast,” a wedding-obsessed woman refuses to accept a bad breakup. In “Undying Love,” a dead man with a fading memory tries to piece together the mystery of his own murder. In “Insatiable,” a wealthy old man watches his beautiful wife seduce a new lover. In “Fetish,” a father’s terror about the sick, twisted world his daughter inhabits leads him to take some terrible measures to save her. In “The Other Man,” a bar owner realizes his adulterous days may be numbered when a cuckolded husband starts stalking him. And in the title story, “The Black Widow Club,” a young mother discovers that murder may be a family tradition.
I hope you’ll read the collection… just not before bed! The sale ends on November 7th.
What are you doing this Friday night? There’s only one correct answer is you live anywhere near New York City: come to Noir at the Bar Queens. Host Alex Segura has rounded up some formidable talent: Lawrence Block, Jason Starr, Dennis Tafoya, SJ Rozan, Henry Chang, Rob Hart, Julia Dahl, Jill Block, Nancy Bilyeau, Arthur Nersesian… and me (!). The Astoria Bookshop will be selling our novels on-site, but this is a free event and open to all. The fun starts at 7pm at Astoria Coffee (30-04 30th Street, Queens). Hope to see you there!
Bouchercon withdrawal has set in. I had a blast in Raleigh, where I got to hang out with some of my favorite people in the world, make new friends, attend panels and events, and eat great food. There was no time for sightseeing, unfortunately — there’s never enough time at Bouchercon. But I returned home with some books, a lot of good memories (check out my photo album), and my Derringer Award, which has already been stolen by a friend of mine…
Bouchercon starts tomorrow, and I have goosebumps. I’m so excited to see my tribe — and by that, I mean people who love the mystery genre as much as I do. A quick reminder of where to find me:
Thursday, October 8th, 5:30pm: Bouchercon’s opening ceremonies, including the presentation of the 2015 Derringer Awards.
Friday, October 9th, 3:30pm: Tor/Forge hospitality suite (full signing schedule pictured above).
Saturday, October 10th, 1pm: “Maintaining Pace in Mystery Narrative” with Laura Benedict, Annette Dashofy, Rebecca Drake, and moderator Janet Reid. (Sheraton Hotel, in Governors Room I).
Wait, it’s October already? That just doesn’t seem right. I’d be ranting about 2015 passing too quickly if it weren’t for one thing: Bouchercon is just one week away! Are you heading to Raleigh? Here’s where to find me at the convention:
Thursday, October 8th, 5:30pm: The presentation of the 2015 Derringer Awards takes place at Bouchercon’s opening ceremonies. I’ll be receiving my Derringer for Best Long Story for “A Hopeless Case.” Sadly, it is not an actual derringer. (Though it is a gorgeous medallion.)
Friday, October 9th, 3:30pm: I’ll be signing books at the Tor/Forge hospitality suite — and there will be some book giveaways, so be sure to stop by. Last year, the Tor/Forge hospitality suite was my favorite hangout at Bouchercon (not least because of the Author Bingo game). Come by and stay a while!
Saturday, October 10th, 1pm: I’m on the panel “Maintaining Pace in Mystery Narrative” with Laura Benedict, Annette Dashofy, and Rebecca Drake;
Monette Michaels will moderate. (It’s at the Sheraton hotel, in Governors Room I) We’ve been chatting in advance and I know this is going to be a lot of fun. Monette was kind enough to ask each panelist to contribute to the “Muse Wednesday” feature on her blog. Here’s my post about my muse; get to know Laura, Annette, and Rebecca through their posts about their influences.
UPDATE: Monette Michaels had to cancel her Bouchercon plans because of illness. While I’m very sorry she won’t be there, I’m delighted to announce that Janet Reid will be moderating in her place!
I have an embarrassing confession to make: when finished copies of my books make their way to my apartment (usually a month before publication), I pet the covers. It’s possible that I have done this while murmuring, “The precioussssss…” Sadly, I don’t (yet) have any physical copies of FALL INS VERDERBEN, the German edition of the second book in the Lily Moore series, THE NEXT ONE TO FALL. But the book is out now, and Egmont Lyx has done a spectacular job with it! I love this rendering of Machu Picchu. If you want to see images from my trip to Peru, featuring all the real-life locations I wrote about in the book, check this out.
Hot off the press: PROTECTORS 2: HEROES. Edited by Thomas Pluck, this collection features 55 short stories from the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Harlan Ellison, Joe Lansdale, David Morrell (yes, the guy who wrote RAMBO), Andrew Vachss, Reed Farrel Coleman, Linda Rodriguez, Martyn Waites, Alex Segura, and a host of talented writers. My contribution, “Sister Cecilia,” is one of the more provocative stories I’ve written. Sales of the collection benefit PROTECT, which fights child abuse. What are you waiting for? Pick up a copy today!